THE HOUSEMAID DISASTER
She had barely stayed upto five minutes in it when she saw rays of light flashing towards that direction with heavy footsteps.
“They are here”She lamented.
The lights flashed again into Angela’s little hiding place, doubling her fears. The thought of pulling off the white gown she was wearing to reduce the chances of being easily spotted nimbled through her but she discarded it.
She tried holding her breath to prevent making even the slightest noise of breathing. As the footsteps came closer,she heard their voices.
“This was all your fault. Why were you sleeping on duty?”
“Stop talking nonsense my friend! You think say i believe that your nonsense story? Spirit my foot. Ghost seer. Just pray to your god, whether amadioha or olokun or any other one wey you dey serve because i know say you no dey go church. Just pray make we find her o Or na your head dem go take do the sacrifice”
Angela listened as their voices died down.She didn’t hear any more word from them again but she wasn’t sure if they were still around or not.
She heard the crackling of dry leaves besides her. The low silence shattering noise by the dry leaves gave her great cause for concern.
She surveyed with great great effort, arround the place with the help of the moonlight.
Then, she saw it. A great python, crawling towards her.
Angela felt herself flush slowly and heat coming in waves up her throat and cheeks. She wanted to scream but instead, she found herself covering her mouth with her palms. She wasn’t sure if the men looking for her were still around.
The python crawled faster and before she knew it, it was right in front of where she squatted.
“David!” She screamed and bursted out,hearing a gunshot and seeing flashes of light. She hid at the back of a huge tree until the lights went off. She heaved a sigh of relief, made the sign of the cross and followed another direction.
Ebere and the old ‘dibia’ arrived as planned but the place was quiet and quite unusual. One of the guards should have met them some distance away from there,to make sure they were not unwanted guests.
“Are you both sleeping? Is that how you secure this place?” The old man asked, infuriated, expecting them to both run out and beg for forgiveness but to his greatest surprise, it seemed as if he was talking to the trees of the forest.
Ebere’s eyes burged out in bewilderment when she flashed the big torch she was holding to the place where Ebere was lying the previous day and found only ropes and nothing more.
“Baba, she is gone. She is gone” Ebere disclosed, with the fear of insecurity and danger looming on her.
“What? Impossible. That can’t happen,” he dashed forward taking the ropes in his hands,
“Nooo. This cannot happen. The gods are already waiting for her blood. What do i tell them now…..”
The two guards panting heavily, ran up to them, interrupting him from speaking further.
“She has escaped. A spirit came and cut the ropes from her o”Egbe reported. Jack eyed him and nodded in agreement.
“May thunder strike the both of you.Go and look for her.If you fail to bring her here, the gods will come after you” He threatened, sending them back in search of Angela.
David’s phone rang. He was lying on the floor of his parlour with empty bottles of alcoholic drinks besides him. He lazily reached for the phone and looked at the clock hanging on the wall before answering it.
It was 6.05am.
“David Any news?” Tony his friend who was on the steering asked.
“No news my brother. No news” David replied.
“Why is your voice like that? Hope you haven’t been drinking”
“Alright. I’m driving now. I have to catch an appointment. I will come over as…………”
David could hear the sudden sound of car brakes and the faint shouts of “Jesus! Jesus!”
“Tony? Tony whats happening? Where are you?”David kept asking,looking at the phone in his hands as if he was actually referring to it.
Tony alighted from his car immediately.He prayed the person didn’t die. He rushed to the front of the car and found her there. A woman she was in a white gown, lying on the ground.
The morning came with cold wind which seemed to have made everyone stay indoor that fateful morning.
Adaora was also caught indoor on the little mat which she shared with Sonia the previous night, wondering if there was anything she could do to lift Sonia from the dilemma she found herself. She knew Sonia was in more trouble than she could imagine; if she was shown on the television, that means she must be on the newspapers as well.
Adaora smiled to herself on remembering how they got past the police checkpoint the previous day driving down here where she deemed safer. The policemen were holding Sonia’s picture. As they looked at the picture, they looked at them in the taxi.Sonia had eyed her not knowing that it has gotten to that level. Sonia’s excessive make ups and changed appearance made it impossible for the police to identify her.
Adaora was ready to do all she could to see that Sonia escaped falling into the dangerous pit that was on her way, even if it meant seeking help from where she vowed never to.
An uncomfortable feeling invaded Adaora. Her eyes never saw Sonia that morning.
She opened the wooden door of the old mud house and looked around; perhaps,Sonia may be sweeping the little compound but to her surprise, she was not there. A quick wave of fear swept through her as she ran around checking every corner of the building calling her name but not even her shadow was seen. Sonia was gone. Gone to God-knows-where.
Tony filled the air with early morning yellow dust as he sped off, with the nearest hospital on his mind. At regular intervals, his eyes went to the woman lying at the back seat. The fear in him didn’t permit him to have a good look at her. So he didn’t know it was Angela, his best friend’s wife that he knocked down.
She wasn’t moving, getting him thinking if she was still alive or dead.
His phone was ringing as he added more speed to the tyres. It was David but he was far from being in the mood to answer.
Tony pulled into the hospital, signaling to the nurses to come over immediately. They came with the stretcher and without wasting any time, pushed her in to commence treatment on her.
Tony waited behind bearing in mind that he’d missed the important business appointment that morning.
“Excuse me nurse,” Tony approached the nurse who came out from the room the victim was taken into, “how is she doing?”
“Calm down sir, we will get back to you” The nurse told him and left for another ward.
Just almost immediately she left,the doctor came out. Tony rushed to him.
“Doctor how far?” Tony asked him.
“Are you her husband?” He asked in return.
“No, I was the one who knocked her down.Is there any problem?” Tony was already worried she might be badly injured internally.
“Uhmm, for now, there isn’t much problem. We need to see her husband and that’s maybe when she regains consciousness” The doctor stressed out.
“Can i see her?” Tony asked, the hope of still catching the appointment coming back to him.
“Sure. but she shouldn’t be disturbed. I think she got into bad hands because she was so unkept and unclad except for the light white material she was wearing but the nurses saw to that. Meanwhile, they are minor papers you have to sign before leaving”
Tony opened the door and saw her lying on the bed with a big drip connected to her arm. He came close to observe her properly before leaving for the appointment making up his mind to come and check on her as soon as possible. He had given one of the nurses some money to get her some food when she gets up.
As Tony beheld her face,he felt a high sense of familarity. Getting even closer, he almost stumbled, realising it was Angela, David’s missing wife.
“Angela” he called her name softly, running his head over her forehead, feeling so sorry for her.
Angela opened her eyes and found Tony sitting close to her.
“Tony” She called weakly and noticed him shock greatly, bringing him back from his thoughts.
“Angela, are you alright” He seemed relaxed and better, knowing she was getting better.
“I feel very weak and hungry. Does david know i’m here?” She asked again.
“No. i was about calling him” He replied, dipping hand into his pocket to get his phone.
“No. don’t call him yet, please” Angela pleaded.
“Why? Your husband is dying. Your absence is killing him. He needs to see you”
“I know but please don’t call him yet”She pleaded again.
Tony alighted from the car and got into the house. David was dressed and seemed ready to leave. Tony looked around the parlour and saw empty bottles on the centre table in the parlour and eyed David.
“What happened? Why weren’t you picking my calls?” David asked him.
“There was a problem. I knocked someone down. Are you going out?” Tony tried averting the question.
“I know you are a rough driver. Did you kill the person?” David asked,smiling at him.
“God forbid. She is getting better” Tony smiled too.
“I’m about going to the police station to know if they have any news for me. From there to my inlaws and from there to the streets if no good news. I can’t stop searching for Angela” David told him.
“Its still too early David. Don’t worry, your wife will return to you. Relax your mind. God is in control” Tony advised him.
Ebere was packing some clothes into some travelling bags, with fear all over her. The fear of Angela coming for her with the police and the fear of the gods coming for her. The old dibia had told her to make sure she produced Angela for the sacrifice because he already promised the gods her blood or else the gods would come after her(Ebere).
The door swung open, leaving Ebere perplexed because she thought she bolted it. Sonia removed the glasses from her eyes and stared at Ebere murderously pointing a short black gun at her.
“No Sonia please. Don’t do it please, i am begging you” Ebere pleaded, shedding tears with her kneels on the ground.
“You are heartless. You don’t deserve to live. Couldn’t you at least have had mercy on me? What would my going to prison profit you? Souls like you deserve to rot in hell” Sonia told her with tears rolling down her own cheeks.
“I can make up for everything. Please bring down the gun” Ebere pleaded.
“Its too late, very late. I have killed before. Yes i killed paul and regretted it but i will never regret killing you. Go to hell while i go to prison. Goodbye” Sonia whispered to Ebere before sending her down with a killing shot.
Streams of blood oozed from Ebere’s arm as she lay on her foam motionless. Sonia quicky ran up to her with heart beating so fast and fixed the gun into her hand to make it appear she shot herself,while making sure she avoided blood stains.
Sonia shook with fear on seeing the policemen on duty. She had thought they wouldn’t be out by now. It was still too early, she thought with an uncertain feeling all over her. She couldn’t put herself together that the taxi driver noticed her fidgeting. She had passed a police checkpoint the previous day with her mother with much confidence that she wouldn’t be spotted, but this morning, the feeling was different.
“Driver stop!” She finally told the taxi driver, removing her eyes from the policemen to make him believe the reason she asked him to stop was not connected to the police.
“You say make i stop?” The young man with a black-sleeveless-top asked, still moving the vehicle.
“You deaf? Stop me here!”Sonia yelled,hitting his hands.
“See me see wahala o. Sofri tell me nah.You want make we get accident?” He hissed and parked at one side of the road.
Sonia produced #200 note from her bag, gave it to him and came down from the taxi without any delay.
“Haba. wait make i give you your change na” He reminded Sonia.
“Keep the change” She replied vaguely and made her way into the bush.
“I hope say no problem sha?” He called after Ebere who was no longer in sight
“Who are you talking to, mr.man?” The horrible voice of one angry looking policeman jolted him back to his driver seat.
“Na the persenger wey i carry” He replied.
“Why did you stop the person here. Is it a man or a woman” The policeman asked again.
“Na one girl o. She say make i stop am here”
“Is this the place she told you she would be stopping?”
“Noo. Where she dey go still far”
The policeman smiled and looked into the bush. He saw her running, falling and getting back up.
“Baba Toure, Sergeant Okoro, Ibrahim. Make una show!” He called on three other policemen who came to him immediately.
He gathered the three of them together and made their eyes follow his finger as he pointed to the person running into the bush.
“Go and get her here. I suspect something” He instructed and eyed the taxi driver. The three policemen dived into the bush with their guns.
“Mr man, come down from that motor. You are not going anywhere until they return with her” He told the taxi driver.
“Hia! Ololoo, wetin i do na? Wetin i do sir” The young man asked with a pleading voice. He never wanted to have anything to do with ‘Nigerian police’.
The popular saying’ i no follow na #5000′ was registered somewhere in his brain.
“Angela my daughter. Nwa m o” Mrs uwa ran up to her daughter with tears of joy trailing down her cheeks. Her husband was still at the door.
She ran her hands across Angela’s face and body.
“Oh look at my daughter. Who did this to you? What happened to you?” She rained endless questions on Angela who couldn’t utter any word but allowed the tears that gathered in her own eyes to drop.
“i am happy you are alright” her father said, allowing a smile to cross his face for the first time in days.
“I saw hell, i was kidnapped” Angela cried.
“Kidnapped? Who kidnapped you? Did you see their face?” Her father asked.
“i saw their faces, i know them, i do, they wanted to sacrifice me to their god but my God saved me” she cried more.
“Thank God. its not my daughter they will use for sacrifice. Tell us about it” her mother urged her.
“For goodness sake, you should let her have some rest. she shouldn’t be disturbed” the doctor’s voice echoed as he entered the room.
Just then, the door barged open with full force and David ran into the room with Tony closing the door after him.
“Angelaaa” he ran up to her and kissed her forehead.
“She needs rest” The doctor referred to David who paid deaf ears to his words.
Here is Angela, the woman that gave him sleepless nights and restless days and there he stood telling him about rest.
“She would be fine. I guess you are her husband. I need to see you in my office” The doctor said to him and finally left, realising it would be impossibe to shoo him off his wife.
“Mr David. Your wife was lucky not to have sustained serious injuries from the accident and most especially, her pregnancy was not affected in any way. Its a miracle” The doctor told David with a friendly smile.
David’s eyes opened wide in amazement.
“Did you say pregnancy?” He asked, not believing his ears.
“Of course. Two months pregnant. Aren’t you aware of that?” The doctor asked surprised.
“Wow, God be praised. Thank you doctor” David couldn’t contain his joy as he shook the doctor’s hands heavily.
Adaora’s phone rang for the third time before she noticed it. She was busy running around searching for Sonia in all the places they had run to for safety earlier.
Her own house was not left out. She gathered enough courage to make it there but She was not there. Asking people if they saw her didn’t cross her mind as she quicky dashed off.
She peered at the screen of her phone and saw a certain number without name, calling.
“Hello” She spoke into the phone.
“Yes am i speaking with Sonia’s mother?” The voice from the phone asked.
“Who are you?” Adaora asked, already overcome by fear. She inserted that new line into her phone recently and Sonia was the only person who knew the number.
“Your daughter is here with us at the police station. The one at williams Division 2” The voice said and hung up.
Adaora held her forehead as she felt the sudden headache strike her. She was going to act fast. She was going to do something she never believed she would do.
Angela opened her eyes only to find David sitting close to her. Her parents were gone now, the drip on her arm already disconnected. She closed them back and thought for sometime.
When she opened them again, David’s eyes locked with her’s. There was a short moment of silence as they looked into each others eyes until Angela broke it with a slap on David’s left cheek. That was the first time she dared raise a finger on him.
David’s face was expressionless for a while.
“I deserve more than that,Angela. You can go on and slap me again if that would make you forgive me” David told her without any trace of anger in his voice.
Angela watched him produce a white handky from his pocket to dry the line of tears that betrayed his expressionless face.
Angela took her face off him, facing the opposite direction and battling the tears that had already gathered in her eyes. She didn’t know when she started sobbing and before she knew it, her face was wet all over.
“I am sorry my dear. I am sorry” David consoled her, drying her tears.
“Why did you do it? Why? Did you do it with the intention of getting a child from her because i haven’t been able to give you one?” Angela asked, amidst sobs, searching his eyes filled with sorrow.
“No. Stop talking like that. I just can’t explain what came over me. I found myself doing what i never intended doing.I….i ….”The tears in his voice didn’t allow him to carry on.
“It’s ok. Please stop. Don’t cry…i don’t want to see you cry again. It will only break my heart the more” Angela said,trying really hard to keep herself from crying. She felt his face with her hands and shook her head.
How fast his face changed for worst these few days she was away.
“I’m sorry. I promise i won’t leave you again” She drew his face close and kissed him passionately, tasting the salty fluids running down from his eyes.
“I missed you so much. I’d have killed myself if any happened to you” David made her understand before positioning himself very well to have a better taste of that sweet red succulent lips of hers; pure strawberries they sure tasted like.
“mhhmmm” Tony cleared his throat, standing right there in the hospital room, disengaging them from their passionate hold.They didn’t notice when he entered.
“I am very sorry for disturbing you” He apologised, observing their faces to know if they wore annoyance but there was no trace of such. Instead, he saw the smiles on their faces, forcing him to smile too. He went for one of the chairs.
“Angela, you haven’t told me why you attempted killing my friend. Infact, where were you hidding?” Tony gesticulated.
“She must pay for that” David added seriously. Angela smiled and hit him playfully.
Angela’s face which was lit up with smiles soon turned sad as she imagined what could have happened to her.
“I was kidnapped. What pained me most was that someone whom i trusted as a friend had a hand in it. They wanted to sacrifice me to their gods” Angela expressed bitterly.
“What?” David couldn’t believe his ears.
“By now, i should be a dead person if God hadn’t saved me. They took my clothes and made me wear one white gown saying i would be sacrificed this morning” She explained further.
“Tell me, which of your friend has a hand in it?” David demanded.
“It’s…it…it’s…Eb…Ebere” Angela stammered.
“Unbelievable!,” David shouted, “how could she?”
“Lets go after her with the police immediately” Tony suggested.
“No no. please don’t. What i ask is that you don’t let her know i am found” Angela pleaded.
“No way. We are going to find her” David objected.
“Pleeease. Leave her to me” Angela pleaded again.
Angela’s mother answered the door. She was preparing another meal for Angela.
The person she saw at the door made her take few steps backwards. It was Adaora,her half sister.
“What do you want?” She barked at her.
“I have come for something more than important. It has to do with your daughter” Adaora said, not moved by Ngozi’s harsh words.
Ngozi stared at her without another word.
Which daughter of hers could Adaora be talking about, she thought.